Tuesday 27th February 2018
While many schools around the country have been closed with severe weather, here on Barra the snow hasn’t quite managed to reach us. We haven’t escaped the cold altogether though and “tha i fuar” has featured a lot on our weather chart lately! With this in mind I moved our outdoor session this week to Tuesday morning to escape the biting winds and also because the children were all off to a shinty tournament on Thursday.
In our little chat before heading out I explained that I wanted them to keep their eyes peeled for any litter they came across that they thought might have come from another country. Below are some of the items we found …
A few are too badly weather beaten to identify however we have emailed Nivea to try and find out the location of the aerosol can. We have now started work on a display using the litter that we have found and marking the country it came from on a large map of the world. The older pupils have been particularly interested in this!
On our walk down to the beach a couple of the children shouted me over to have a look at some flowers that they had spotted hiding in the machair. They were calling them buttercups so we had a brief chat about their colour and learned that they are called primroses. Exploring and learning the names of local flowers is something that I had wanted to work with the children on over the coming months so I am pleased they have shown an early interest in this. Some signs of Spring at long last!!
The children did a wonderful job, as always, of collecting as much litter as they could. Encouragingly we all noticed that the patch of beach we have been clearing for the last month now is definitely looking a lot cleaner. However we only needed to head another two minutes in the other direction to find the shoreline strewn with rope and plastic. We managed to fill two large bin bags but we could easily have filled a hundred. I’d like to give a special mention to one of the little boys in the group who determinedly dragged a tangled mass of rope well over half a mile to get it off the beach … super star!
We’ve had a busy week getting prepared for the upcoming Island Clean Up. The pupils worked really hard in class this week designing posters to promote the event … those of you who visit Buth Bharraigh will be able to see them displayed very soon! Writing for a real audience and purpose was incredibly motivating for the children and their posters are easily the best they have produced all year. I loved some of the slogans they used, “Save our Seas,” “Be part of the solution, not the pollution” and “Everything is Greener when it is Cleaner!” Next week we are going to get to work on writing letters to local businesses encouraging their participation in the event!
I want to keep this blog pretty brief but before I finish up I would like to share with you some insight into Teach on the Beach from a parents’ perspective … thank you to Nicola for taking the time to write this for us as well as accompanying us on many of our sessions so far.
I have really enjoyed tagging along to Teach on the Beach. Initially I wondered how it was going to work but I realised very quickly that it was a fantastic idea. The kids are so enthusiastic & enjoy the time we spend on the beach. Along with learning new things they get to work together as a team but can also enjoy things on their own. It’s great seeing their imaginations at work when drawing things in the sand or making pictures with rocks. Learning about the effect plastics and litter have on the world around us is invaluable for our future generations. The kids take a lot of pride in collecting the plastics and rubbish that is lying across our beaches and they know how this can affect the wildlife especially in the sea. My son is certainly applying things he learns at Teach on the Beach to our daily lives by helping with recycling at home, using a reusable water bottle & keeping the area around our home free from rubbish. Nowadays with so much technology around it’s fantastic that the kids get a chance to learn outdoors. I would encourage every school to give outdoor learning a try!!
Whether you’re building a snowman or a sandcastle this weekend ...
take some time to enjoy the outdoors!